Do you ever wonder what happens to all of the other contestants at a beauty pageant or science fair? Not the first or second runners-up, either, but the ones who fall by the wayside sometimes before the real competition has even begun. Like maybe the kid who forgets the baking soda for his papier-mâché volcano diorama, or Miss Hinterland County who finishes 28th out of 29 contenders trying to become the Miss State representative to the Miss America pageant.
(Is the Miss America pageant even still a thing? Is that reference as outdated as the notion of schoolchildren using baking soda to make their papier-mâché volcanos erupt? Did we forget our ticket when the double-decker clue Greyhound was boarding at the bus depot? Are we making it worse by talking about bus depots? Does Greyhound even still operate interstate bus lines? Is interstate bus travel as obsolete as papier-mâché volcano dioramas?)
We're leading you down this rhetorical primrose path on account of the breaking news about Amazon's widely rumored second headquarters. No, the chosen city to receive this literally industrial-strength windfall has not been anointed. A lot of the big dreamers, on the other hand, are suddenly and harshly out of the running, left to wither and be forgotten in the cold, thorny reality of A2HQ irrelevance. Suddenly that trademark Amazon arrow looks a lot less like a smile, and a lot more like a spear with its tip in your kidney, doesn't it, losers?
The big news — for some — is that 19 cities are still in the running to land the grandest economic development fireworks show since James Madison and Thomas Jefferson bargained with Alexander Hamilton to build the new national capitol on the north bank of the Potomac. The flip side of that bulletin is that 219 cities are suddenly left with a giant baited hook frying in the heat of a dry lakebed of broken dreams and wasted opportunities.
One big takeaway from all of this foofaraw and hurly-burly is that, quite often in life, you're better off not waiting to find out whether someone or something else will tap your forehead with the magical wand of destiny and make all of your wildest dreams come true. After all, 238 cities submitted bids on A2HQ, which means that, ultimately, 237 are going to be bitterly disappointed — out of the running before the pageant is even on the network news.
Almost everyone is likely to encounter a big opportunity or two (professionally speaking), but you're better off taking the reins of your own career stagecoach. If you want to succeed in IT, then get busy piling up some certifications. Maybe someone will offer you a corner office and key to the executive washroom someday and maybe they won't. There's no sense waiting for lighting to strike and solve all of your problems. Instead, get certified — and make it rain.